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Breaking pumpkin records by Ann Treacy
October 24, 2010, 7:10 pm
Filed under: Chicago

We had a very Halloweeny weekend in Chicago. On Saturday afternoon we went and painted shop windows in Glenview – we were invited to do so. We weren’t going for any graffiti gags. The girls did a nice job with their painting. (Sean was at a birthday party.) Later that evening, we went to break a world record – the most jack-o-lanterns. They were going for 36,000 lit jack-o-lanterns. We personally carved 8. It was very fun. We got there right at dusk so by the time we figured out the pumpkin process it was pretty dark. It’s perfect environment for carving pumpkins with kids.

Actually it wasn’t bad. Aine let me help a little. Bridie was OK with a lot of help – and the other girls were fine on their own. Then the big girls started to light up pumpkins. As you can see from the pictures, there were 5-6 rows of scaffolding for the pumpkins. I at least made the girls promise to focus on the lower rows.

We thought the planners were very lucky with weather. They had been predicting storms all day and it had rained much of the morning. So when we felt a few raindrops we headed for the car. We got there just before the big downpour. We’re not sure what then become of the pumpkin light – but I think they were very close to the numbers they needed. And everyone had to sign in when they carved a pumpkin so I think they’ll be OK.

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Museum of Science & Industry by Ann Treacy
October 23, 2010, 8:43 pm
Filed under: Chicago

Chicago’s Museum of Science & Industry was my favorite place as a kid. It’s still great. We went with the cousins. We went to see the Jim Henson exhibit. It was fun to be so close to Miss Piggy and Kermit. Aine couldn’t actually name Kermit – but that was OK. I think she could probably have named Elmo . Betsy was selected to be one of the puppet volunteers, which was excellent. It’s tough to be a good ham as a puppet, but she succeeded.

One highlight of the trip was the egg incubator room. We actually saw a chick come out of an egg – that’s always fun!

We met the Museum blogger – which is a job I should have.

Aine and I went through the Net World exhibit. It was OK – but again, they should hire me to put together a good Net World/broadband exhibit. I could do a better job. They talked a lot about the difference between dialup and OC3 – but not so much about what you can do with broadband and what a difference broadband can make. I think they should have the Social Revolution YouTube video and some telehealth applications. Maybe doctors in training could be taking shifts examining people remotely at the Museum – now that would be cool.

We did like the game room – and we all loved the skiing games. We went to the weather area and learned about the Tesla coil – think a million volts of electricity and some great lightning. Aine and I toured the 727 – which seems a lot bigger than any airplane I’ve been on lately.

We left tired but a good kind of tired. Dinner in Greek Town spruced us up. They are so nice to families and kids in Greek Town. As soon as we sat down there were kiddie cokctails all around – then more bread and flaming cheese than anyone should have!

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Minnehaha Bikes by Ann Treacy
October 23, 2010, 3:56 pm
Filed under: Minneapolis

There was a great Groupon on the multi-people bikes at Minnehaha – so we went. I kind of forgot that I don’t really like bikes when I went for this – but I was quickly reminded once we got going. It’s hard to pedal a bike with 5 people on it – and Patrick’s a good biker. But it was beautiful day. And there was a fun historical recreation at one of the houses around Minnehaha. OK, recreation might be over stating it – but the girls got to play some old fashioned games. The Historical Society does a great job on stuff like that.

For folks who don’t know Minneapolis, here’s a quick description…

Overlooking the Mississippi River, Minnehaha Park is one of Minneapolis’ oldest and most popular parks, attracting over 850,000 thousand visitors annually. It is located at the intersection of Hiawatha Ave. and Minnehaha Parkway.

Sever’s Corn Maze by Ann Treacy
October 23, 2010, 3:02 pm
Filed under: Minnesota

The last weekend of September we went to Sever’s Corm Maze – an annual trip for us. The weather was perfect – almost too hot. We had a great time! Here are some of the highlights:

The girls and I went on camel rides
We went swimming in the pool of corn (and were pulling corn kernels out of ourselves for the next week)
We went through the corn maze. Kate rocked it! Aine also got the hang of it. Lily’s phone was helpful when we need to go back and find her and Patrick.
Saw a pig race

I’m always amazed at how much fun the corn maze is.

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Wine Dinner at Luci’s by Ann Treacy
October 23, 2010, 2:03 pm
Filed under: St Paul

Patrick and I had a great dinner at Luci Ancora – our favorite Italian restaurant. They had a wine dinner with St Innocent, Patrick’s favorite winery. We go to the wine dinners often – usually we sit by ourselves. This time they sat us with a few other folks. So that was different – Patrick was not so thrilled at first – but after a glass of wine, or two it was kind of fun!

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Pumpkinland in Litchfield MN by Ann Treacy
October 23, 2010, 12:45 pm
Filed under: Minnesota

Once again the girls and I went with Grandpa to Nelson’s Farm and Pumpkin Patch in Litchfield Minnesota. Grandpa and I were surprised at how many of the small details the girls remember from year to year. Including being able to pick out every restaurant where we’ve ever stopped. And restaurants in the area are not always so different from each other – at least from the outside.

Some highlights (not necessarily mine) were

  • picking up the baby chicks
  • holding the bunnies (which sadly replaced the kittens
  • riding the soapbox cars down the hill (always fun!)
  • big hayride
  • little hayride
  • Pumpkin trebuchet – I love that – video below

It’s fun to see the trebuchet and kind of amazing how it works – both the mechanics and the success. Like last weekend, we had perfect weather. It was cooler – but sweater weather – and super sunny. Last year when we went we were wearing hats and mittens.

On the way home we stopped (as always) in Darwin to see the World’s Largest Ball of Twine, the playground and we drove by the cemetery where my Grandma & Grandpa Treacy are buried.

The Minnesota State Fair by Ann Treacy
October 12, 2010, 12:51 am
Filed under: St Paul

The Lynches came into town for the Minnesota State Fair. So we all went together (us, Lynches, Grandma & Grandpa). We had our scavenger hunt – which I posted earlier. We had a great time. I’ll have to post our annual Education Calendar when we get it. They are always great about letting all 13 of us pose in the picture.

We had a ton of good food – the potato chip tornado was a new purchase that I would make again. Some of us milked a cow – namely me, Kate, Katie and Aine. In other words the toughest of the group. Some folks went on the Sky Ride (not me!). Aine won a big ball in the arcade, she was the big winner. We saw the largest pig and largest pumpkin. We walked and walked. The weather was absolutely perfect!


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Saints Game by Ann Treacy
October 12, 2010, 12:02 am
Filed under: St Paul

Since we were out of town for my birthday, we celebrated in August at the final Saints game of the season. It was great. I think I had about 70 tickets to the game – and they were all used. As always my favorite part was the tailgating before. But the game was good too. It did go into 11 innings, which we didn’t love because we were a little tired. We did love the fireworks after the game. The fireworks feel so close there and it’s a great display. I’m hoping that I can celebrate my birthday a little earlier next eyar – but a second tradition might be making the final game of the season – especially if they keep up the fireworks

Flutag by Ann Treacy
October 11, 2010, 11:36 pm
Filed under: Minneapolis

OK I’m catching up with summer highlights. A fun highlight was the Flutag in the Twin Cities. People build vehicles that’s supposed to fly off a ramp and into the Mississippi. Here’s the official description from the web site…

Red Bull Flugtag challenges teams of everyday people to build homemade, human-powered flying machines and pilot them off a 30-foot high deck in hopes of achieving flight! Flugtag may mean “flying day” in German, but all these crafts ultimately splash into the waters below. They are judged not only on their flight’s distance, but creativity and showmanship as well.

The really amazing thing is that 90,000 people showed up to watch it. The population of the city is only 300,000. So 90,000 is quite a feat. They flew the flying machines off a ramp built on Harriet Island – so really anyone on the shores could see pretty well. So even though it was clearly a ton of people it didn’t seem too crowded – once we parked anyways.

You can see our other short but sweet videos here:

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